About Me

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antrim, antrim, Ireland
Hello and welcome to my blog. If you like flowers and gardens, housey stuff, food and banter, then this is the place for you. I am a decorative artist, florist and maker of things. I sell painted furniture, plants and crafts, through a local retail shop, in my native Ireland, and wedding flowers from home. I am married to a lovely patient man and have a smashing little girl. I blog for the fun of it. Thank you for listening.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Bottles and Jars

Welcome to my old and new friends, thank you for taking the time to visit me, I very much appreciate it, and love it when you leave me a little note.

 In these difficult, financially strained days, we have all become rather more thrifty, which to my mind is a good thing.If something can be re-used, then why not!

We are seeing the simple beauty in ordinary things. Children have always been way ahead of us on this score, think toddlers with egg boxes or wrapping paper, toilet roll inner tubes,cereal boxes. There are some incredibly ingenious people making all sorts of things from the most unlikely materials.

It is the simple things that seem to be talking to me at the moment though, clean sparkling glass with pure clear water, is there anything more beautiful?

 I am terribly bad at remembering to drink water, but when I see pictures like this, it makes me want to!

I have always held on to my interesting jars and bottles for making condiments, cordials and sauces, but how lovely is a simple jar filled with flowers?

 Or some simple bottles?

All the above photos are from Tumlblr.
It really doesn't take much to make a pretty display and add a little life to a corner of your kitchen or on your bedside table so that you see it when you wake up.

This year I want to grow more flowers in my garden. My husband, bless his cotton socks, is not the romantic type and never thinks to buy me flowers, so I buy them for myself, but there is nothing so satisfying as picking them fresh and lovely from your own garden. I found this quote on Pinterest which says it all.

So, I plan to do some 'soul decoration' this weekend. I wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day, and a wonderful weekend. Love Linda x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Pink and Red

Do you have colour prejudices. or issues, colours you avoid or just plain can't stand? When I was a little kid growing up in the 1970's, I didn't have a clue, I thought 'anything goes!' One day I had a very rude awakening. My friend Heather looked me up and down  and said 'do you see what you are wearing?' Glancing down at myself I said 'yeah.'  'Well. it doesn't go together!' I was gob-smacked, it rocked my world that a stripey jumper didn't go with a spotty blouse, that I wasn't 'colour matched.'

After that, I paid more attention to what goes with what and what definitely does not. Blue and green, 'not fit to be seen' or was that red and green? Anyway, you never wear pink and red together! My beliefs were seriously challenged again at the end of the 70's, by my history of art teacher. She was talking about some Impressionist painter who put pink and orange together, and how she rather liked that combination. Well I was completely horrified, PINK and ORANGE, are you mad!!
Pink, red, orange, lime green WOW!  Photo from here.

Then there was that whole 'magnolia' thing with interior decorating, where the whole house was painted in magnolia, with great debates about who's 'magnolia' was the best. Then everyone went colour crazy, with mediterranean blue walls in the garden, with 'hot pink' planting, and yellow and terracotta colourwash everywhere. Then we turned all neutral again with the 'cream', 'white',. 'stone', and now 'grey' phases. It is totally bewildering, what's a girl to do? It is all 'marketing' of course, and even though I know that I fall into the trap like most everyone else. I was out shopping with my husband and daughter a couple of weeks ago, and a certain chain store had their new interiors stuff in. Yellow was everywhere, a lovely sunny, sunshiney springlike shade. Well, it was just the tonic after all that awful rain we'd been having. Yellow is one of those colours that I have trouble with. I spent too many years painting everyone's kitchen, hall, living rooms and furniture, varying shades of the colour, and so I was rather sick of it. I even avoided it in my garden. However now the spell has been broken, the 'marketing' people have won me over, and I purchased a bright yellow whistling kettle (I need that like a hole in the head). Of course once I get it home, it doesn't go with my lavender things, but that's a whole other post!

Back to pink and red. I now have decided that I rather like these colours together, perhaps not to wear, but as a combination of colours for decorating my guest bedroom. When combined with white I think it is so fresh and lively a mix, that it will give the guest room that much needed va-va-voom. I will keep you posted on the guest room's makeover.I used these colours for some little posies I was making also.See below.

I would love to know what you think about 'colour' and if you are influenced erroneously or otherwise. Have a wonderful rest of the week, love Linda x.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tussie Mussie's

'Tussie Mussie's were introduced to England in the early 18th century. A small circular bouquet like a nosegay, but carries symbolic meaning, based upon the language of flowers, where specific flowers represent specific sentiments. They were commonly exchanged by lovers, who sent messages to one another.' Wikipedia.

I have been making Tussie Mussies's  for Nanabelle's Vintage Tearoom's in Antrim, some of the materials I have used in my arrangements have the following meanings : Lavender - devotion, distrust, Geranium - gentility, coral or orange Rose - desire, passion, Rosemary - remembrance, Thyme - thriftiness, purple Violet - daydreaming. I find the whole subject fascinating, and love the thought of those 18th century lovers sending little coded messages to eachother. Except if everyone knew the language then everyone would know what they were saying.

My home town of Antrim has been a little short of somewhere lovely to go and have a coffee or tea, but not anymore!. Nannabelle's  is a beautiful gift shop selling a variety of quality merchandise, for your home, or to give as gifts. The owner Kathleen McCurdy and her husband George,. decided that they would convert the store room at the back of the shop into a tearoom. Kathleen and her sister bake all the wonderful cakes themselves and Marie who manages the tearoom, bakes the scones. It is small, but totally delightful. They play 1940's music and the staff wear tea dresses and old fashioned apron's. The table's are prettily dressed and they use new china in a vintage style and silver teapots.
I think because it is small, and the staff are so friendly, that it somehow creates a family atmosphere and you end up getting into conversation with the other customers. I take my hat off to the owners, as I think they have created something rather wonderful.

They kindly agreed to showcase some of my work in return for some free publicity, and so this is why I have been making the Tussie Mussie's. I decided that because of lack of space, the best thing would be to make something small and low. I decided to use garden flowers ,as the scale is better, and they are so 'of the season'. I used some of my own little jugs and cups, but they would look equally nice in glasses or jam jars.

I hope if you are ever in Antrim you will call in to Nanabelle's  for an elegant morning coffee or afternoon tea? Enjoy your weekend. Love Linda x